A Matter of Life and Death

We very rarely think about our own deaths. That's unsurprising, considering how frightening it is to entertain the idea that one day, everything will just stop. But within this fear there is a positive – death is one thing that all people share, an event we all know will one day arrive. Cup Of Brew ask us to contemplate death and what it means for friendship and life’s purpose in their brilliant production, A Matter of Life And Death.

Wonderfully easy in its humour, laughing quite literally in the face of death

Simon and Paul are old friends, who still spend time together despite Paul’s strange, extreme reluctance to involve himself in Simon’s mid twenties party lifestyle. Paul eventually reveals that he is the personification of death, and what follows is an exceptionally well-crafted comic drama.

Wonderfully easy in its humour, laughing quite literally in the face of death, this two-hander benefits from a crackling chemistry between its actors. Both Jared More and James Esler do well to work the contrasts between their laddish banter and the serious discussion that examines friendship and futility. It is a credit to the entire company that a production that relies so heavily on believable characters and rapid dialogue is so utterly compelling to watch. Sam Hill’s direction is slick but well thought-out, turning the 50-minute piece into a perfect Fringe-sized morsel. Without a distracting set, elaborate scene changes or undue technical cues, Freddie Rosen’s witty, perfectly weighted script is allowed to speak for itself. The things it has to say are not preachy, but they are profound. What is friendship in the face of death? Can we face life with the thought of death ahead? The answers to these questions are not spoonfed to us, but with humour and good judgement this production evokes the admirable human ability to laugh and get on with life.

Reviews by Andrew Forbes

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The Blurb

Simon is Paul's best friend. They're young, they drink, joke and talk about girls. Unfortunately, Paul is also Death and he's got something to tell Simon... This darkly comic play explores ideas of mortality in the modern world from a uniquely youthful perspective. An original two-hander with plenty of laughs and ample room for reflection. Written by Fred Rosen and directed by Sam Hill. A Cup of Brew production.